Raiders officially hire Greg Olson as OC

Raiders officially hire Greg Olson as OC
January 19, 2013, 5:15 pm
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The Jaguars had the No. 21-ranked passing attack last season with Chad Henne (72.2 QB rating) and Blaine Gabbert (77.4). (AP)

UPDATE ( 5:10 PST) -- The Raiders have officially named Greg Olson as their new offensive coordinator to replace the fired Greg Knapp, head coach Dennis Allen announced Saturday

ESPN and the Contra Costa Times reported late Friday night that Olson had already been tabbed as the possible replacement.

Olson, who turns 50 on March 1, worked last season as Jacksonville's assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach. The Jaguars, who finished 2-14, had the No. 29-ranked total offense in 2012, the No. 21-ranked passing attack with Chad Henne (72.2 passer rating) and Blaine Gabbert (77.4) under center.

The Raiders, meanwhile, had the No. 8-ranked passing attack in 2012, with Carson Palmer becoming the second Raiders quarterback in franchise history to pass for more than 4,000 yards.

But Oakland's run game suffered under Knapp and his zone-blocking scheme-predicated West Coast Offense, finishing No. 28 in the 32-team NFL, with Darren McFadden averaging a career-low 3.3 yards per carry in 12 games. And that is presumably where Olson will address the issues at hand, especially with Frank Pollack also fired as Oakland's offensive line coach.

Olson is known primarily as a power-scheme guy, and that would seemingly fit better with the Raiders' current personnel.

"I'm not an offensive guru, but I do know when Darren is running certain plays, it's pretty doggone good," Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie told reporters this week. "But when you talk about a scheme, he's not a lateral mover. He's not one of those guys. As soon as he can go north and south, that's when he's at his best."

Olson has been an offensive coordinator for six years in the NFL, with his most recent stint in Tampa Bay from 2009 through 2011. The Buccaneers total offense ranked 28th, 19th and 21st his three years there, with the passing offense 24th, 17th and 16th. The rushing offense was 23rd, eighth and 30th. Still, Olson is credited with helping in the development of Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman.

Olson has also been an O.C. in Detroit, in 2005, when the Lions had the No. 27 total offense, and in St. Louis, in 2006 and 2007. In fact, his Rams offense in '06 ranked sixth overall and running back Steven Jackson rushed for 1,528 yards and 13 touchdowns while catching 90 passes for 806 yards and three TDs.

The Rams, though, fell to No. 24 overall in total offense in 2007, before Olson joined Jon Gruden's staff in Tampa Bay in 2008 as the Bucs' QB coach.

Olson has also been a QB coach for Jeff Garcia (49ers in 2001) and Drew Brees (Purdue).

In their search for a new O.C., the Raiders also talked with the likes of Norv Turner, Marc Trestman and, reportedly, Mike Martz.

The Raiders still have coaching vacancies at offensive line and linebackers.